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A fresh legal challenge to prevent the prime minister crashing out of the EU without a deal is to be heard in the London courts on Friday, the civil rights organisation Liberty has revealed.

The judicial review action, similar to the case already heard in Edinburgh, is an attempt to ensure that Boris Johnson respects the Benn act and seeks an extension to UK membership in the absence of an agreement with Brussels.

The case is due to be heard on Friday before three senior judges in the court of appeal. As well as Liberty, the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) has also submitted an application on behalf of three low-paid workers who, it is said, will suffer if there is a no-deal Brexit.

Confirmation of the hearing signals a fresh round of Brexit-related legal battles in the courts. The Scottish hearing has effectively been stayed pending the outcome of this week’s negotiations with the EU.

The Benn act, passed with the support of Labour and the broader rebel alliance in parliament, states that the government must ask the EU for an extension if MPs do not approve a Brexit deal by 19 October.

Liberty launched its action last month after Johnson said he would flout the European Union (Withdrawal) (No 2) Act (also known as the “Benn act”). The English courts have been significantly slower than their Scottish counterparts in agreeing to hear the claim.


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